Om Prakash Chouhan seizes the third round at Tata Open 2018

Om Prakash Chouhan seizes the third round lead with a gallant 65 at the 17th TATA Open 2018.Rashid Khan drops to second, Honey Baisoya shoots day’s best 64 to move into tied fourth

 Jamshedpur, December 22, 2018: Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow shook up things in round three of the 17th TATA Open 2018, the PGTI’s season finale, with his gallant six-under-65 that featured two eagles and helped him seize the lead at 18-under-195 at the par-71 Golmuri Golf Course in Jamshedpur on Saturday.

Delhi’s Rashid Khan, the leader in the first two rounds, dropped to second place at 17-under-196 after posting a second straight 67 in round three of the Rs. 1 crore event.

The day’s best effort came from Delhi’s Honey Baisoya, a double winner on the PGTI in 2018, who submitted an unblemished card of seven-under-64 that saw him gain 15 spots and climb to tied fourth at 13-under-200.

Om Prakash Chouhan (63-67-65), who began the day one shot behind the overnight leader Rashid Khan (62-67-67) in second place, had a poor start as he missed short putts on the first and third to concede early bogeys.

With the 30-year-old Chouhan being two-over through eight holes and Rashid being two-under on the same stretch, the latter looked unstoppable and was the favourite for the lead yet again.

However, Om Prakash, who won the last of his four PGTI titles at the 13th TATA Open 2014, began to turn things around with his eagle on the par-5 ninth where he knocked in a three-footer.

A rejuvenated Chouhan then made a charge with birdies on the next two holes and his second eagle of the day on the par-4 12thwhere he drove the green and converted from eight feet.

Om Prakash’s terrific wedge-play complemented by some consistent putting earned him two more birdies on the 15th and 18ththat helped him overtake Rashid, the winner in Mumbai last week, who scored a two-under on the back-nine.

Chouhan, searching for his first title in four years, said, “When I was two-over through eight holes today, I was low on confidence, as I was striking it well but missing short putts. That’s when I decided to start playing aggressively.

“The eagle on the ninth gave me loads of confidence and thereafter my putting also picked up. Things began to start falling in place after that. It was nice to end the day with a wedge shot that landed just two feet from the hole and led to another birdie.

“So the outstanding recovery today gives me a great platform to build my final round on. I haven’t won in a long time, so I’m eager to end that spell. It’ll be fun playing with Rashid in the leader group on the final day as he is a very tough competitor but at the same time a good friend.”

Delhi’s Kapil Kumar came up with a third consecutive 66 to occupy third place at 15-under-198.

Honey Baisoya’s accurate ball-striking saw him return a 64 that placed him joint fourth along with Gurugram’s Tapy Ghai (67) and Noida’s Amardip Malik (67) at 13-under-200.

Among the prominent names, the Bengaluru duo of Chikkarangappa and Khalin Joshi were in tied ninth at 11-under-202 and tied 16th at nine-under-204 respectively, while defending champion Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka was tied 21st at eight-under-205.

Round 3 Leaderboard:

18-under-195: Om Prakash Chouhan (63-67-65)

17-under-196: Rashid Khan (62-67-67)

15-under-198: Kapil Kumar (66-66-66)

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